(Picture of my mom and three daughters)
This past fall I ran my first half-marathon.
Let me just tell you, I’m NOT a runner so don’t be impressed. In high school I use to run on the track team until my boyfriend (who years later became my husband) decided to join the track team as well. The thought of him seeing me run made me so nervous that I quit and decided to play on the tennis team instead.
But though I don’t “see” myself as a runner, I actually am….and so are you.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1
My dear friends I love you and I want you to run your race well. I want you to finish strong. I want you to run to the GLORY of our Lord!
I learned a few things about running as I was training this past fall.
1. It’s hard work- I’ll be honest, there were days I wanted to quit, but I’m so glad I didn’t.
2. You have to make time for it….running doesn’t just “happen”, except for those of us who have two year olds….need I say more?
3. It’s painful- I had many days where I was walking around with my legs extremely sore from the run the day before.
4. There are no short cuts- NONE. You have to put in the hard work.
5. It takes time- one of the reasons why I’ve never liked running is because IT TAKES SO LONG! Around mile three I start thinking, “You know, I really should be doing this____ instead.” or “I think my time would be better spent doing____.” There’s just no way around it, you have to put your time in.
6. Having a goal to focus on is important- Having the race date on the calendar kept me focused and motivated. I had made the commitment and there was no backing out….no matter how nervous I was getting.
7. What you wear matters- you can’t run effectively wearing heavy clothes or carrying baggage…it just slows you down. You also can’t run in heals….well I guess technically you can, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
8. Make sure you stay hydrated-You can’t run your best race when your body is depleted.
9. It’s more fun to run with friends- I had originally thought I’d run the race alone because I didn’t want to hold my friend back, so I came prepared to listen to a book on my iPhone as I ran, but we ended up running together which made the experience so much more fun and memorable. We are made for community.
10. It’s important to have a training buddy- I know I would of quit if I didn’t have the accountability of my running buddy. That girl pushed me to my running limit and I LOVED her for it. On the days we didn’t run together she would text or call me to see how my run for the day went. I LOVED having her check in on me and see how I was doing.
Friends, though this top 10 list pertains to running…..it also applies to our lives as well! In Hebrews 12:1 we are reminded that each of us is running a race that is MARKED out for us! Ohhh my sweet friends, I so want you to run your race well. Do you not realize others are watching? Not only are you surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses….those who have run before us with only the promise of what was to come, but those around you in your life are watching too!
If you’ve been running your race and have come here tired today, let me encourage you to let go of the baggage you are carrying. You weren’t meant to carry that load. Give it to Jesus and then run for HIS GLORY! Don’t let the weight of your past continue to drag you down and keep you from running the race you are meant to run. Throw whatever is hindering you off and GO!
Regrets from past choices weighing you down? Ask for forgiveness and then let Jesus carry that heavy load for you.
Current sins keeping you tangled up and not able to break free to run your race? Cry out to Jesus and ask Him for His help! He is able and willing, my dear friend!
Run your race with perseverance and keep your eyes on Jesus! Running is hard. You will get tired and want to quit, but don’t. Surround yourself with friends who will encourage you to stay in the race, friends who will run along side of you and help you persevere during the hard times…because we ALL run into hard times.
The race is not easy…..but it’s worth it.
HE is worth it.
We were reminded earlier this week that our days are numbered…be intentional in how you run your race. Be wise with the time you have been blessed with and give it your ALL.
As I was nearing the end of my half marathon, around mile 11, I suddenly couldn’t see very well. My vision changed to where it looked like I was looking through tons of large water droplets. This had happened to me a few times before so I knew what to expect and didn’t stop. Though I couldn’t see her anymore, I knew my friend was right beside me I just had to stay focused on my goal…to finish that race. You see what helped me keep going when I wanted to quit was that I knew who was cheering for me and waiting for me on the other side of my finish line….my 3 little girls.
Friend, I don’t know what your race is like right now for you but I do know that you have a cheering squad whether you hear them or not. Please fix your eyes on Jesus, don’t get distracted or discouraged by this world. Don’t grow weary or lose heart….you have more people than you might know rooting for you! Stay strong, persevere and focus on HIM!
I am cheering for you all the way!
(LOVE this picture of my sweet friend grabbing me after I crossed the finish line….just a little glimpse of what heaven will be like!)
Love God Greatly!